22 April 2009
Green: Baby Skin Care
Happy Earth Day!
I'm still geeking out over skin care products over here and trying to figure out what brands are safest for use on the wee one's skin.
Here are some of the skin care products that have managed to accumulate in our bathroom. Let's see if they follow the "rules"--no petroleum products, no parabens, no fragrance, and use less.
Product #1: Johnson's head-to-toe baby wash ("#1 Choice of Hospitals") appears to be full of petroleum-based chemicals. The only understandable word in the ingredients list is: water. Contains sodium laureth sulfate (a Nasty) and "fragrance". FAIL
Product #2: Johnson's baby shampoo is so similar to the body wash that it's interesting that it is marketed as a second product. Same problems. FAIL
Product #3: Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash is "pediatrician recommended" and has oatmeal in it. Surely, it's good for the skin. Let's check it out. It's fragrance free so that's good but it has "PEG"s in it which I remember are Nasties and also mineral oil which is a petroleum product. FAIL
Product #4: California Baby Shampoo and Bodywash. Oh I hope this one is ok because it smells heavenly. No fragrance, no parabens, only one ingredient that isn't in "English". The Cosmetic Database ranks it as a "2" which is low hazard. Yay! PASS
Product #5: Weleda Baby Calendula Lotion. I bought this at Mother Nature's, our local hippy, breast-feeding, cloth-diapering mama store, so it better be ok. Uh-oh, it has "fragrance" but then explains it's from natural essential oils. All the other ingredients seem ok. The "fragrance" earned it a "4" on the Cosmetic Database but since we know where it comes from I feel ok with this. PASS (too bad I don't actually LIKE how it smells--too strong for me)
Product #6: California Baby Super Sensitive Everyday Lotion. No fragrance and I really love how California baby writes their labels--everything has it's "big" name and then an interpretation in "English" for those of us who weren't science majors. It looks ok plus it gets bonus points for using many ingredients that are certified organic, sustainable or renewal. PASS
After reading the labels, there's the whole "Use Less" rule. Frankly, babies don't really need much in the way of skin care and shampoo. So far most of the Sprout's messes are easily cleaned up with warm water. I think I've used about 6 drops of the California baby shampoo so far and that's mostly because I like how it smells. I've used about the same amount of the lotion to "spot treat" some dry spots. I'm sure her need for product will increase as she gets older, bigger and dirtier, but for now it is easy to use less.
The moral of the story appears to be "read your labels, read your labels, read your labels". I'm glad the California Baby products did well because they are readily available (Target) and they smell great (as in: floral but not very strong at all).
I'd love to get some comments on this topic. Do you read your skin care product labels? What do you look for? What products do you recommend? What should I do with the products that fail my "rules"? Keep and use them? Give them away (That seems hypocritical: "Here, it's not good enough for MY baby but use it for yours.)? Destroy them in some way?
So click on that "comment" button and let me know what you think! And have a happy rest of your Earth day!